Gray hairs, laugh lines, and–possibly worst of all–ending a night out by 10:00 instead of just starting it then. Aging is no fun! But some types of aging can be lots of fun. Aging, adding patinas, and giving a worn, weathered look to polymer clay, metal, and other kinds of art is a good kind of aging.
Christi Friesen is an international polymer clay artist, author, and instructor. She’s always jet-setting around the world teaching poly clay techniques to lucky students in exotic places like Italy, France, and Ireland, among others. During that delicious traveling, Christi has surely seen some incredibly well-aged art, architecture, and other scenic sites. And it has all helped inspire and inform her work aging polymer clay.
“In my head I’m still in college, but that’s not what I see in the mirror. Sigh. Because of that I am thinking a lot more about ‘aging’ these days,” Christi writes. “But I figure if I’m aging, well then, so can my creativity! Which brings me to the subject of my newest online workshop, Polymer Clay Jewelry: The Art of Aging Gracefully.
“I actually have always loved the look of aging in artwork. I’m a bit of an antique/vintage/artifact junkie, so I suppose that’s where it comes from. In art, anything that has patina, wear, or the natural beauty that comes from being old really appeals to me,” Christi says. “You too?”
About herself, Christi says, “I am a mixed-media artist and I work primarily in polymer clay, embellished with a variety of other materials.” It sounds simple, until you see the stunning polymer clay creations Christi makes. Her jewelry, creatures and figurines, art, and accessories show unlimited imagination.
What about aging gracefully?
“One way to add the visually enriching aspect of age to your creations is to use actual aged things, such as including an antique button, a found object, a piece of vintage lace, or old watch parts. Anything that aged naturally will obviously bring that sense of age to the piece you create,” Christi says. “In the online course, I show you how to create a pendant base that will complement the addition of aged pieces. And, of course, how to actually attach those pieces to your clay. This is pure wabi sabi—using authentic pieces with interestingly ‘used’ appearances.”
In addition to wabi sabi, the Japanese idea of finding beauty in the natural cycle of life,Christi shares other inspiring and enlightened art practices in her course, Polymer Clay Jewelry: The Art of Aging Gracefully. “One of the things that happens with age is that items get broken. In the online workshop, we’ll explore two techniques that deal with broken: shattered glass impressions and kintsugi repair.”
Want to learn more about the shattered glass technique, kintsugi (above), and patina for polymer clay? Hint: They’re great stress relievers! Hop over to our sister site, Interweave Jewelry, to read the rest of Christi’s blog about addictive and fun aging techniques in her newest poly clay course. And grab her course now!